According to Tennessee law, ALL persons must report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. This includes doctors, police, teachers, parents, mental health professionals, child care providers, dentists, family members and friends.
In Tennessee, if you have “reasonable cause to believe” a child is being abused or neglected you must report that suspicion to the state Department of Children’s Services or law enforcement immediately. Failure to report is a misdemeanor. If you suspect additional abuse after the initial report has been made, report that as well.
As a mandated reporter you are protected by the state in terms of liability and confidentiality.
The more information provided, the more effective CPS can be when investigating the case, so provide as much information as you can.
- Address – home and where the child can best be located
- Phone numbers
- Child’s age or date of birth
- Child’s condition/injuries
- Any emotional, behavioral, or physical problems the child may have
- Name of siblings or others that may be involved
- Identify person responsible for abuse/neglect, if known
If the child is in immediate danger, call 911. They can respond immediately and will inform CPS.
To report suspected child sexual abuse, call the following number:
Tennessee Child Abuse Hotline: 1-877-237-0004
You can reach this toll free number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
To report suspected child abuse or neglect to the police, call one of the following numbers.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department: 931-433-9821
Fayetteville City Police Department: 931-438-7771
Lewisburg Police Department: 931-359-4044
Marshall County Sheriff’s Department: 931-359-6122
Shelbyville Police Department: 931-684-3232
Bedford County Sheriff’s Department: 931-684-3232
Moore County Sheriff’s Department: 931-759-7323